- CCAPP Standards for Accreditation of Pharmacy Technician Programs in Canada (Revised Aug 2015)
- CCAPP Standards for Accreditation of Pharmacy Technician Programs in Canada 2012 – French version (Revised January 2016)
Stages of Accreditation
CCAPP is committed to an accreditation process for pharmacy technician programs that is anchored to national standards of educational outcomes and entry to practice competencies. CCAPP is accountable to national organizations for the pharmacy profession in Canada (CPhA and CSHP), the representative body for the provincial regulatory authorities (NAPRA), and the national certification examination agency (PEBC) to manage a process that is rigorous, fair and ensures that accredited programs have all of the components in place to offer high quality programs that will produce pharmacy technician graduates that will be successful at gaining registration and practicing competently in any practice settings.
Institutions wishing to obtain CCAPP accreditation will normally proceed through several stages before it can gain full accreditation. CCAPP is most concerned with the operating history and maturity programs considering accreditation. These stages are intended to ensure programs develop its systems, resources, curriculum, facilities, instructional faculty, and practice experiences in an organized manner. The following information summarizes the approach that CCAPP has used to develop its accreditation process for pharmacy technician programs, and the factors that it uses to determine the appropriate stage that CCAPP will initially assign to programs applying for accreditation for the first time.
A program will be assigned for qualifying status if it is under development by the institution and currently has no students admitted. Qualifying status programs may also be relatively new programs that are still bringing various elements of an existing program into compliance with CCAPP standards and have not yet accumulated sufficient evidence demonstrating sustainability (i.e. at least one year) of the delivery of all program elements meeting CCAPP standards.
A program with qualifying status is not expected to meet all accreditation standards at the time of application, but has the resources and a plan in place to achieve this goal within one year.
While a program is in qualifying status and before it will be considered for a provisional accreditation, CCAPP will expect to see clear evidence that the institution can demonstrate the sustainability, consistency and predictability of its pharmacy technician program. That is, CCAPP requires programs to demonstrate that they can maintain all conditions that are necessary to achieve a positive accreditation status consistently for a reasonable and sustained period of time (usually at least 12 months).
The graduates from a program that is in operation at the time of the application and CCAPP site visit and which is subsequently awarded qualifying status are not permitted direct entry to the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) qualifying certification exam for pharmacy technicians. Students completing pharmacy technician programs at educational institutions holding CCAPP qualifying status should contact PEBC at pebc.ca for additional information concerning eligibility for its examinations.
The term of the qualifying status award is 1 year. Near the end of this term, the program will be given an opportunity to provide CCAPP with the necessary information about the continuing development of the program that supports compliance with all accreditation standards to be considered for Provisional Accreditation. Programs making progress, but unable to meet all accreditation criteria may be assigned to a second 1 year qualifying status. If it is unable to attain provisional accreditation by the end of the second term, it will be required to re-apply for accreditation no earlier than one year following the loss of its qualifying status.
Provisional Accreditation Status
Provisional Status is reserved for new programs defined with reference to its transition to a curriculum and structure that has its foundation in the CPTEA educational outcomes and NAPRA entry to practice competencies. New programs are defined with reference to its transition to a curriculum and structure that has its foundation in the CPTEA educational outcomes and NAPRA entry to practice competencies.
In its application the program asserts that it meets all accreditation standards and that it has the evidence to demonstrate sustainability of meeting all program criteria for at least one year.
In its initial period of application reviews (2008-2013), CCAPP only awarded provisional status to those programs that could demonstrate compliance with ALL core accreditation criteria. That is, it was CCAPP’s decision not to award provisional status (and by extension, the benefit it would provide to graduates re the PEBC qualifying exam) to any program that, in fact, could not meet all core accreditation criteria.
For programs that are non-compliant in certain standards that are not likely to immediately effect the quality of the training program, CCAPP may issue a provisional award, with condition. For a program that is deficient in a criterion that is directly connected with the design and operation of the educational program, the accreditation award will be qualifying status.
Since compliance with these core criteria are so instrumental to the eventual quality of graduates and their educational readiness to be assessed using the PEBC exam, it would be quite inappropriate for CCAPP to convey the message that a program could gain CCAPP provisional accreditation (and explicitly signal to its students that their educational program has satisfactorily prepared them), when it still was in non compliance with one or more accreditation criteria.
That is, the PEBC qualifying exam blueprint has been constructed in such a way that students from non-accredited programs are likely have a higher rate of unsuccessful pass score performance than those completing their education in a program with a provisional award. In addition, it is CCAPP’s intention to clearly establish its own benchmarks and fairness of process by making sure those programs that had put in place the required investments of personnel, resources, curriculum, and procedures were duly rewarded with an accreditation award that required some challenge and effort to attain.
A student graduating from a program that holds provisional accreditation is permitted to write the PEBC pharmacy technician qualifying exam.
The term for programs with Provisional Accreditation status is three years. At the end of this three-year period, programs must make a new application and submit a complete self-study to be reviewed for full accreditation.
Accreditation is awarded to an established program that has held a provisional status, accreditation award for at least three years. These programs will have graduated students from a curriculum that meets all CCAPP standards and will have sufficient students who have written the PEBC qualifying examination to make a judgment concerning the sustainable quality of the program.
Accreditation may be granted for a period of up to 5-years. At the end of the end of the five-year period, programs must make a new application and submit a complete self-study to be reviewed for continuation of their accreditation award status.
Accreditation Award Decisions
Evaluation reports from all pharmacy technician program site visits are referred to the CCAPP Accreditation Committee for Pharmacy Technician Programs Accreditation (ACPTP). The ACPTP is responsible for reviewing the evaluation report and, with the assistance of CCAPP staff, make a recommendation for an accreditation award. This recommendation is then forwarded to the CCAPP board which is responsible for making the final award determination. The possible award decisions for the board are:
Clear Provisional Award
No core criteria that are in non-compliance, and there are few or no significant areas of non-compliance in any of the other criteria.
Provisional Award with Conditions
There is only one or two criterion in non-compliance in areas that is not likely to impact the quality of the academic program in the short term. Few other criteria are in significant non-compliance. The repair of the non-compliant criteria can be remedied relatively quickly. Conditions may also apply to core criteria that the program has not yet demonstrated that it can deliver the criteria consistently or with sustained permanence. Once the condition has been repaired in the manner specified by CCAPP, the condition notation will be removed from the accreditation award.
A program that has one or more core criteria in non-compliance in areas of the standards that are likely to have significant impact on the quality of the academic program. The program will also have other criteria that are deficient. The program will be given specific instructions on what repairs are necessary to bring the criteria into compliance, the dates by which any defects must be repaired, and the specific evidence that must be presented to CCAPP to confirm any corrective actions.
Normally a deferred decision will be eligible for re-review of the application with 12 months of the initial deferral date. Programs that do not successfully attain Provisional or Full status upon re-review must submit a new application for accreditation if it intends to continue to pursue CCAPP accreditation. A new application cannot be made until at least one year has lapsed after the original decision that accreditation has been denied.
A program that has been accredited and subsequently fails to comply with the standards may be given probationary accreditation status. A period of six months is given for the institution to show cause why the probationary status should be rescinded or to present sufficient evidence of improvement to warrant restoration of provisional or full accreditation status. Should the institution not demonstrate a commitment to rectifying the deficiencies during the six-month period, the program will be no longer be accredited and a new application form for future accreditation must be submitted by the program.
If probationary status is deemed necessary, CCAPP will inform the Provincial Body responsible for approval of Private Career Colleges and the Provincial Pharmacy Regulatory Association of this decision and will post on the CCAPP website that the program is currently on probation. The institution will be required to submit a monthly update on the status of the deficiencies that placed the program on probation. An unannounced visit by CCAPP and Ministry officials may occur at any time during the probationary period at the program’s expense.
A program that has several core criteria in non-compliance and significant weaknesses in many of the other criteria. The self-study and the site visit indicate that the program and its personnel have not prepared its operation with the quality of a program that would be necessary in order to meet national accreditation standards. While the phase 1 review of the application for accreditation by the CCAPP office is intended to ensure that all programs that proceed to a site visit are at a quality of their state of development that would minimize the likelihood of an “accreditation denied” decision, there may be serious deficiencies in a program that are not identified in the initial review of the self-study and are only first evident to CCAPP during a site visit.
Accreditation Application Information
- Pharmacy Technician Program Application and Instruction Form (PDF – English)
- Pharmacy Technician Program Application and Instruction Form (Word Version – English)
- Programme d’assistance technique en pharmacie — Instructions pour la présentation d’une demande d’agrément